The Education Department offers a major in K-8 Education (ED) that prepares students for a career in teaching. The Teacher Preparation Program provides a strong background in the liberal arts as well as professional education courses.
The Teacher Preparation Program at Alaska Pacific University carries out the holistic philosophy of the university which stresses a commitment to Alaska’s intercultural and international heritage. Participants in the program may pursue study at either the undergraduate or graduate level. The undergraduate program includes a K-8 Education certificate (for teacher aides), an Associate of Arts Degree in Education, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education (K-8). For graduate-level coursework, refer to the Master of Arts in Teaching section. Coursework is designed to:
- Prepare qualified undergraduate students to become qualified teacher aides and/or K-8 teachers.
- Prepare those who hold baccalaureate or masters degrees in other fields for careers as K-8 teachers.
The Teacher Preparation Program of study and practical experience is approved by the Alaska State Department of Education as well as fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The university provides the Institutional Recommendation for teacher certification, which is then issued by the Alaska State Department of Education.
The Education Department at Alaska Pacific University is proud of its professional team and the excellent program we have developed. Students who join this exciting learning adventure will embark on a journey that can lead to licensure as a teaching professional in the state of Alaska.
Teaching is one of the most demanding and important professions in society. As a teacher, one is expected to prevent ignorance, promote intellectual health, and lay the foundations for continued learning. The Teacher Preparation Program will challenge students to begin meeting these expectations during the first education class in which they enroll.
The following can be expected from the Teacher Preparation Program:
- Opportunities to work with students in grades K-8 in a variety of settings.
- Opportunities to collaborate with rural and urban Alaska teachers.
- 800-1000 hours of quality time in rural and urban Alaska classrooms.
- Applications of theory into practice at the university and in schools.
- Support and guidance from the first class through student teaching.
- Opportunities for growth, transitioning from student to teaching professional.
Teacher as Professional
The Alaska Pacific University curriculum identifies five concepts which require a broad range of knowledge and practice for development and which serve to characterize the graduates of this institution. The five concepts which form the basis of the curriculum are:
Teachers must plan, structure, and implement instruction and assess student learning in an increasingly effective manner enabling students to construct knowledge and to connect knowledge acquired at school with knowledge acquired at home and in the community.
Teachers must be prepared to recognize, accept, and teach to diversity, addressing both groups of students and individuals, recognizing different perspectives and voices that represent various groups and interests, and recognizing shared interests that create common purposes for individuals and groups.
Knowledge Teachers must be prepared to teach central concepts, principles, and processes of inquiry and structures of the discipline in ways that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students. Authentic assessments of student abilities, attitudes, and understanding using evaluations to determine the strengths and needs for improvement of various educational programs and curricula are expected.
Teachers must be prepared to search for the meanings and consequences of their own knowledge and beliefs, their teaching, and schooling; to seek out and engage in collaborative relationships-university-school family-social and community agencies in order to provide students with contextualized and experiential learning and to improve the professional expertise.
Teachers and other school personnel must be prepared to use educational technology to extend and enhance their ability to provide their students with varied experiences and powerful tools for learning, as well as preparing students for entry into a workforce that is becoming more technologically sophisticated.
Your program of study is a combination of general university requirements and education courses with real life K-8 classroom practicum experiences. As you proceed through your course of study, you are expected to achieve the Alaska Beginning Teacher Standards that are reflected in the following competencies:
Philosophy and Approach (PA)
Describe personal research-based philosophy of education and apply it in the classroom with consistent teaching strategies and practices.
Developmental Stages (DS)
Understand how students learn and develop and apply that knowledge to individuals and groups in classroom practice.
Diverse Cultures and Needs (DCN)
Teach students with respect for their individual and cultural characteristics to promote learning and communication.
Content Knowledge and Strategies (CKS)
Knows the teacher’s content areas and how to teach them using age appropriate strategies to develop student knowledge, skills, and understandings applicable to real world situations; this includes accurate information, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and use of technology.
Assessment Guides Instruction (AGI)
Facilitates, monitors, and assesses student learning to inform students and families of progress and needs; encourages student self-assessment; uses individual and group performance to guide instruction (formative and summative assessment); and maintains accurate records.
Positive Learning Environment (PLE)
Creates and maintains a positive learning environment that is physically, emotionally, and intellectually safe in which all students can learn, and are actively engaged, contributing members.
Partnerships and Real-life Connections (PRC)
Works as a partner with parents, families, and the community.
Professionalism, Ethics, and Growth (PEG)
Participates in and contributes to the teaching profession, complies with standards, laws and Code of Ethics, and engages in continuous professional growth.